Cop Tales are true stories as told by law enforcement officers from all over the country. The stories are told in the First Person. The actual officer’s initials follow each story.

One Way Or The Other

I was patrolling the county roads in my Highway Patrol Mustang when I got in pursuit of a stolen motorcycle. I was pretty good at handling that five-speed, stick-shift Mustang. We went down several streets before the rider dropped the bike and took off on foot in a high crime neighborhood. I then ran after him. We ran so far before he started to jump over fences. I was a lot younger then, so I was able to jump over every fence as well. When I was about to jump over the last one, I observed a vicious German Shepard growling at me and just waiting to make me his one course meal for the night. I stopped just in time and wondered how the suspect made it through that yard. Whatever the explanation, he was out of sight. I was upset that I lost him and had to recover the motorcycle without having a suspect in custody.

Just as I jumped over the last fence to get back to the stolen bike, I observed another suspect jump on the motorcycle and take off. I jumped in the Mustang and accelerated after him. It turned into another crazy pursuit and foot chase, but I wasn’t going to lose that guy. I managed to tackle him and take him into custody. I recovered the motorcycle and had one in custody after all.

— BS

What An Honor

I was patrolling the freeway on a hot summer day in light traffic when I observed a vehicle fly by my patrol car at well over 100 mph. I activated my red light and had to chase him for quite awhile before he pulled over. As soon as he stopped, he jumped out of his car and ran back towards me as I was exiting my patrol vehicle. I started to reach for my pistol due to his actions. He then started to yell at me, “My wife, my wife, she is about to give birth.” I confirmed the man’s story and after a quick evaluation, I realized an ambulance would not make it in time. The husband and I helped her into my patrol car, and I told him to proceed to the hospital at a safe speed. I then advised dispatch that I was transporting her to the hospital Code 3.

By the time I arrived at the hospital, they were standing by with the gurney to take her upstairs to the delivery room. However, they never even made it to the elevators. She went into labor and gave birth to a baby boy right there in the lobby.

When I got the opportunity, I took the father aside and lectured him on his unsafe driving and explained how he could’ve killed his new family and other innocent drivers. I then left the hospital.

Years later, I was working the same freeway on a hot summer day when I stopped at a drugstore to cool off and get an ice cream cone. As I was walked back to my car, I heard a woman with a small 5-year-old boy running after me. As I stopped to talk to her, she introduced me to her son and said, “Officer, you are the one who drove me to the hospital, and I gave birth to this little boy. I wanted you to know that I named him after you.”

— DR

Just Changing a Tire

In 1967, while working the afternoon shift, we were in briefing when my beat partner was dispatched to handle a fatality on the freeway. I was assigned as his back-up.

When we arrived, we found what was left of a man lying on the shoulder. The man was with his wife and child when he got a flat tire on his vehicle. While he was changing his left-rear tire, a large concrete, drainage pipe fell off a passing flatbed truck and crushed him to death. The worst part was the wife and child observed the whole incident. There wasn’t much left of the man once they removed all the debris. Needless to say, the wife and child were in shock and I don’t think any of us will ever forget what we saw that day.

— BB

Brian Smith served four years in the U.S. Marine Corps, and retired as an Assistant Chief with the California Highway Patrol. He resides in Bakersfield. If you have a personal “Cop Tale” to share, please contact Smith at bmsmith778@gmail.com.

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